Drug resistance has always been a major problem in the medical community, and it is also true for antibiotics, which are commonly used in medical treatment. However, a new study by the research team at the University of Portsmouth may overcome this difficulty by redesigning existing antibiotics to overcome the mechanism of bacterial resistance.Use the supercomputer’s excellent computing power to fight against the evolutionary ability of diseases, and ultimately solve the problem of drug resistance.
It is estimated that approximately 700,000 people die from antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year, and this number is expected to rise to several million. Without effective antibiotics, the average life span of humans is expected to be reduced by 20 years.
The application of computers in drug design has a history of decades, but this is the first time that a multi-pronged computer-guided strategy has been used to create new antibiotics from existing antibiotics that bacteria have overcome. The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Speech by the project leader of the University of Portsmouth
The team has proven that their best drug candidate (not yet in clinical trials) is 56 times more active against the tested strains than the two antibiotics erythromycin and clarithromycin on the World Health Organization (WHO) essential drug list. More importantly, its drug candidates are still effective against the top three bacteria on the WHO list, and these three bacteria have developed resistance to erythromycin and clarithromycin.
The hope of this new study is to show that the mechanism of bacterial resistance can be solved in a systematic way, so that science can continue to fight back through the computational evolution of new antibiotics. The leader of the research, Dr. Gerhard Koenig, said, “Computers are developing every year. Therefore, we must hope to reverse the situation.”